2012 PNG Games Wrap Up

The PNG Games are a proving to be a big benefit to Athletics PNG both in terms of providing an opportunity for grassroots athletes to display their talent and in terms of providing a much needed focus for national squad athletes to train seriously in the year in between Pacific Games. President Tony Green made these remarks in reflecting on the 2012 PNG Games in Kokopo which saw all 22 Provinces participating, and between them fielding a total of 700 athletes. The find of the Games was Western Province athlete George Yamak who won the mens 1500m in fine style. Other new athletes to impress included Kalama Towarup from West New Britain in the womens 800m and 1500m ; Leibert Kirakar from Madang in the mens High Jump;  Annie Topal from ENB in the womens triple jump; Herman Tobeno from New Ireland in the 400m; Aina Goir of Simbu  , Ongan Awa (EHP) and Josepha Tapilas (New  Ireland) in the womens distance ;  and Robson Yinambe (NIP)  and Raymond Boga (ENB)  in the mens multi events.  “We still have a long way to go to be competitive in the throws” said Green “but coach James Goulding from Fiji has identified a number of athletes with some potential whom we can work with over the next two and a half years”. 

The Games are also very important for athletes who are already in the national squad as they must have a continuing programme, added Green.We have to build on the success of the 2011 Pacific Games and for that to happen we must have a continuing programme for the athletes. 2013 sees the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis & Futuna Islands and as a result of the PNG Games the squad is in good shape, with the athletes having a high level of fitness. Had the national athletes not been allowed to participate in the PNG Games then many would have had no  incentive to train seriously this year.It is good to have major events like this within the country instead of sending athletes overseas for competition, which obviously costs more and benefits fewer athletes.

An increase in the number of major competitions within PNG is a key part of Athletics PNG five year strategic plan 2012 to 2016. This is not only to develop athletes but also  technical officials and coaches. “A lot of work needs to be done in building capacity in the area of officiating” said Green. “For the 2015 Games our aim has to be to develop as many PNG officials as possible to assume key responsibilities”

December 26, 2012


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